Tuesday, April 26, 2016

4 Ways to not be a Copter Mom

Way back in November, 2013 I wrote a post called “Protect or Prepare our Kids” (if would be good if you would read it here to understand why this has been on my heart).  Ever since that day I have pondered more about how to do this well and what does it look like if I don’t do this well and what in the world is a copter mom?

Go to this link to watch a great video on what a copter mom is!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=biNMldI7eMo

So….here are some thoughts on how to not be a Copter Mom

1.      LET THEM GO versus HOLD ON

Does it cause you to become anxious when they go to school, or to a friend’s homes, or on a mission trip?  Make you paranoid?  Dread?  Do you wonder how they will do without you?

Think about Moses’ mother!!  She trusted God enough to let him go and put him in a basket—in a river!!  Look at the plan God had for him!!  However, it required her to hold on to all things loosely!!

1 John 4:18 “Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear.  If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced His perfect love.  We love each other because He first loved us.”

Philippians 4:6-7 “don’t worry about anything, instead, pray about everything.  Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.  Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.  His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

Has safety become an idol?

We are raising them to leave.  It is a process as they move through various seasons of life!  From meeting every need as a baby to teaching/correcting moments as toddler through high school to guide/counselor as adult.

I learned that that is why we gradually let them go.  I could never imagine them leaving home as a first grader or in middle school...  But with each new season, they become more and more independent so that by the time they are seniors in high school…they have gradually ‘left the nest’ with work, friends, driving, trips, etc.

If you find yourself wanting to hold on versus let them go—it might mean you are fearful!

2.      LET THEM BE (who they are) versus PERFORMANCE (what they do)

Let them BE who God created them to be!  Way too many moms are living out their lives through their kids….what they did, didn’t do, wanted to do, wish they could do.

Sometimes our parenting behavior is motivated by our own egos.  We have to make sure they succeed at everything and are involved in everything....after all, it makes them (and us) look good!

You know how important it is for them to know you are proud of them for who they are not for what they do.  This will help them learn God’s love is not works based.

If you find yourself caring more about what they DO (their performance) versus who they ARE you might be prideful!!

3.      LET THEM FEEL (hurt, disappointment, frustration, loneliness, failure) versus INTERFERE/INTERRUPT

The hardest part of being a parent is watching your child go through something really tough and not being able to fix it for them.  It will happen!!  Pain.  Disappointment.  Hurt.  Frustration.  Failure. 

I love this quote from Melissa Milbourn.  “If we continually bail people out, they never have to make better decisions.  Sometimes people don’t reap what they sow because someone else steps in and reaps the consequences for them.  If every time you overspent, your mother sent you money to cover the check overdrafts or high credit-card balances, you wouldn’t reap the consequences of your spendthrift ways.  Your mother would be protecting you from the natural consequences:  the hounding of creditors or going hungry.  The law of sowing and reaping can be interrupted.  It is often people who have no boundaries who do the interrupting.  Just as we can interfere with the law of gravity by catching a glass tumbling off the table, people can interfere with the law of cause and effect by stepping in and rescuing irresponsible people.  Rescuing a person from the natural consequences of his behavior enables him to continue in irresponsible behavior.”

We can do this with our older, adult children too!!

You are always around to be sure nothing bad happens.  You interfere with little scrapes and bruises by never letting them play.  You are involved in every interaction with other children to be sure they are treated ‘nice’.

You fix things for them.

Do you want them to work hard, learn from mistakes and trust God?  Or do you want them to think someone/anyone/everyone will fix it for them?

Are you taking your children out of the battle instead of teaching them to fight the battle? 

If it is hard for you to let them feel and you fix things constantly, it might be because you distrust!


Do you do for your kids what they can do for themselves?  Are you micromanaging your children's lives to the point where when they leave home they have no idea how to cook or do laundry?

Have you have stayed up late working on a class project long after your child has gone to bed so they can turn it in and get a good grade?

Do you know there are parents who fill out their son or daughter’s college applications and job applications?  Is that you?

Is the root cause your need to be in control?  Ask yourself honestly…”Do I want/need to control my child?”  (and I hope you know my heart here….yes, our children are to be ‘controlled’ as far as being disciplined….and not ‘out of control’.  This is not what I am referring to)

If you find yourself micromanaging your children versus letting them do, you might be a controller!

So….in conclusion…4 ways to not be a copter mom!!

  1. Let them go versus hold on because you are not fearful!
  2. Let them be versus perform because you are not prideful!
  3. Let them feel versus fix it because you trust!
  4. Let them do versus micro-manage because you are not in control!

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